Apparently, MSI will not only make graphics cards using ATI Technologies’ graphics processors, but will also manufacture mainboards using core-logic sets from ATI, as I read over The Inquirer.
Reportedly sometimes in the second quarter this year MSI and ATI will announce the partnership that will concern chipsets for mainboards developed by ATI. I have no idea if the agreement will involve graphics cards, but knowing that MSI has very close relationship with NVIDIA and is one of the biggest partners of this Santa Clara-based company, I do not think that the Taiwanese computer hardware maker will officially make a lot of ATI powered cards in order not to “make” NVIDIA “angry”.
No details about any particular products were revealed, but it seems that MSI is interested in RS300 code-named chipset that supports Intel Pentium 4 and Prescott processors with 400, 533 or 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and the Hyper-Threading technology enabled, as all modern chipsets the RS300 offers dual-channel memory configurations using PC2700 or PC3200 modules, AGP 8x and even integrated RADEON 9000 graphics core (more details in this news-story). It is hard to believe, but The Inquirer states that the RS300 is even more powerful than Intel’s own i765P core-logic product.
Since NVIDIA does not produce or sell any Pentium 4 intended chipsets, another ATI’s design win at MSI should not affect NVIDIA’s sales in any way. Basically speaking, if MSI wanted a powerful chipset with integrated graphics core it had a very narrow choice between ATI’s RS300 and Intel’s i865GE. The former’s graphics core should be faster than the latter’s, hence, that is why it have been chosen. There is no information that MSI plans to utilise ATI’s other platform chipsets, such as RS300VE, RS380 or RX380.